Farmers need to display a professional approach to secure investment funding (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Farmers need to display a professional approach to secure investment funding
FARMERS intent on future expansion will find they need a much more business-like approach.
That is the message from Chris D’Olley (left) Basingstoke-based senior rural partner at national consultancy Carter Jonas.
He suggests careful planning and a well-thought busi-ness plan are now prerequisites for any farmer wanting to expand or modernise their activities, “Anyone who hasn’t embarked on new farm investment in the past five to 10 years will find that the days of easy money have gone and there is a need to be far more professional when approaching lenders,” said Chris.
“The credit crunch and world banking crisis may seem remote from rural activities. Lenders are right to be more circumspect about making loans, the terms involved, and the applicable interest rates.
“However, some very competitive funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) has just become available for British farmers through the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC).”
Carter Jonas, which is an agent for the AMC, has negotiated access to a multi-million pound fund provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) which is aimed at stimulating investment and job creation in small and medium-sized businesses, including farming.
Chris said the AMC can effectively subsidise loans for a wide range of farm improvement and diversification projects, including building works and livestock housing, machinery and equipment purchases, farm shops, milking parlours and farm energy schemes. However, he warns that the pot of cash is limited and the scheme is already attracting a keen response.
Borrowers eligible for the EIB scheme will receive a significant discount of 0.65 per cent off the normal loan margin when rates are already at an historic low. The minimum amount borrowers can apply for from the scheme is £25,500. The discount is available on loans of up to 10 years for projects that have a definite start and end date, and applicants must complete their loan by December 2013.